Smith Corona

In 1989 the Smith Corona Company proudly advertised themselves as being ‘the best typewriter company in the world’. This was a company with a proud history of innovation. 100 years earlier they had invented the first typewriter with upper and lower case. In 1906, they had invented the first portable typewriter and in 1957, the first portable electric typewriter.  More recently, they had invented the first personal word processor.   Smith Corona knew how to identify new trends and opportunities. Sales were a record $500 million dollars and business, it seemed was booming. Smith Corona did not miss the emerging trend of personal computing. In 1990 they even observed that the industry was “in a period of transition between typewriters and word processors” and in 1991 formed a partnership with the Acer computer company. The partnership was a good strategy and the CEO even remarked of computers: “They are a logical extension of our line”.

In 1992, however, the computer partnership was a distraction to their main focus of relocating their typewriter production to a lower cost base in Mexico. Their late entry to the market meant they faced stiff price competition, and the partnership with Acer was ended. A former executive of the company has since noted that at the time they could not imagine their company going out of business, that it was “hard to imagine that the typewriter would be annihilated…”(!) 1.

This 2014-15 Trends Report will help you achieve four things:

1. Prepare for change

2. Position for change

3. Adapt to change

4. Profit from change

In short, it will help you to Be Prepared. I commend it to you.

Download the full 2014-15 trends report here: 10 trends that are changing our world (PDF)